Thome is one homer shy of becoming the 37th player in major league history to reach the 400-homer plateau. The slugging first baseman should be especially comfortable going for the milestone at the Metrodome, where his 23 homers are the most by any visiting player.
Thome was the lone bright spot for the Phillies in a 6-1 loss to the Twins on Saturday. He went 3-for-4 with his 399th home run. Thome is riding a power surge, with five homers and 13 RBIs over his last five games.
Despite Thome’s heroics, the Phillies have been struggling with losses in seven of their last 11 games. Philadelphia has managed to keep pace in the NL East because the first-place Florida Marlins have also been slumping.
The Twins have been thriving since interleague play began this week. Minnesota has won four of five against the National League, sweeping the New York Mets before splitting its first two against Philadelphia.
Minnesota’s success this week has been due to its pitching staff, which has allowed a total of just seven runs over the four wins. The Twins have also played outstanding defense, led by center fielder Torii Hunter, who has made sensational catches in three straight games.
“Sometimes it gets overlooked, but that’s what we pride ourselves on,” manager Ron Gardenhire said.
The Twins are 6-2 on their nine-game homestand.